The idea of difference or strangeness dominates the human psyche. We, as a species, believe that we are ‘different’ from animals. Even as individuals, we believe that we are different from the ‘others’. Such a belief, which is the outcome of social, cultural and religious moorings shapes our identity. It also develops our perspective, shapes our attitude and defines our understanding of the world around us. In a multi-cultural and multi-religious country like India, the interests of various groups tend to diverge. A society fears its identity and culture being swapped whether within the state or the country; smaller groups within a state or province have legitimate fears of being overridden by larger or more powerful groups. This happens when we adopt a solitarist approach to human identity, which sees human beings as members of only one group. The idea of a distinct identity is not about being good or bad. It is simply an idea. However, this idea of exclusivity which is emerging in India is worrisome.
The last few years have seen a constant tug of war between the champions of smaller states and larger states. Today, there are demands in many parts of the country for creation of new states. There have been persistent demands for the creation of separate states of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh and Vidharba out of eastern Maharashtra. In 1953, Jawaharlal Nehru had appointed a Commission for the preparation of creation of states on linguistic lines. The first and the only State Reorganisation Commission gave its recommendations to the Jawaharlal Nehru government in 1955. The SRC recommended that states be organised along linguistic lines. Hence, the first states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were created with language as the prime organising factor. Being united by language and a common linguistic culture was considered to be a good basis for creating states to help development. When Punjab was partitioned, not only a separate Punjabi-speaking...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document